Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Hybrid Car Owners Invest in Their Beliefs
The Prius has a sticker price of $20,480, compared to $14,085 for a Corolla, while the Civic Hybrid lists for $19,650, about $6,000 more than the standard Civic's base model. Hybrid buyers receive a $2,000 federal tax deduction, and Wuertz figures she'll make up much of the difference in savings on gas.

She averages about 47 miles per gallon, a figure she tracks on the dashboard "Energy Monitor," a screen that displays fuel consumption rates and tells whether the gas or electric engine is supplying the power.

"You can get mesmerized by the screen in there," says Wuertz, 48. "When I used to own sports cars, I loved to drive fast. With this, it's `How can I get every ounce of gas out of it?' I think I'm a much safer driver now. Before it was about speed; now it's about economics."


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